Dec. 22, 2009
Rachael Genson, Texas Media Relations
As a freshman, Dexter Pittman came to The University of Texas with a plan. He wanted to become a great basketball player. After his first three years at Texas, Pittman concluded he was good, but not great.
In his first three years at Texas, Pittman greatly increased his production on the court. He went from averaging 2.6 points per game as a freshman to 10.1 points per game as a junior. He went from brief playing time as a rookie to earning a starting role last season. Clearly, Pittman had improved drastically while at the Forty Acres. So much so that he had the option to put his name in for the NBA Draft last spring. Pittman, however, declined to do so.
"As good as he is, I think there is still a lot of growth for him at UT," assistant coach Rodney Terry said. "I don't just mean with basketball."
"Once a player enters the draft, they enter a tough business. Dexter just wants the time to mature a little bit more. And he is really using this season to get a better understanding of the game," Terry added.
Pittman cites the opportunity for improvement in all areas as his major reason for remaining at UT for his senior season.
"I chose not to enter the draft because I wanted to come back to Texas and get even better. I've really improved my conditioning," Pittman said. "I also want to become one of those great college players."
It's quite possible that his hopes may become reality this season.
This past summer, Pittman spent a lot of time working on his game. He learned a lot about putting himself in the optimal position on the court for both rebounding and scoring. He spent a lot of time perfecting how to save his energy while on the court. Pittman says that he spent the summer "learning how to be a smart player."
"More than anything else, Dexter's stamina has really made an improvement in the last year," Terry notes. "He can stay on the court for a longer amount of time, which enables him to show off his skills more."
In his fourth year at Texas, he has not only played some spectacular basketball, but he has become one of the premier post players in the nation.
"Dexter has come a long way since he first came into the program," Terry said. "Offensively, he is very skilled around the basket. He has become a guy who is great at scoring the ball."
His talent and upbeat personality have helped Pittman create a name for himself at The University of Texas, both on and off the court. With more than half the season still in front of him, Pittman has plenty of time to continue improving.